Currently, most of the country has several market stalls over there which offer a wide variety of fresh produce. Consumers just have to decide what they want to eat and how prepare it.
The most popular food of China is evidently the rice in its diverse kinds like grain, noodles, or dumpling wrappers. In northern and western China the colder climate is better for wheat and millet. Wheat noodles are also broadly popular, habitually fried or served in a soup.
In China, the best way to show hospitality is serving a pure meat dish. Pork is the highlight dish, except in zones with high Muslim customs where it's substituted with mutton or beef. Fowl is also considered a great food. Rural people at central and southern China have hens and duck farms.
Fish and seafood are the most expensive food. The Chinese are obligated to import them due to the water contamination. Dog, cat, and snake are also part of the delicacies of China, especially in the south and southwest of the country.
Eggs – chicken, duck or quail - are a common national snack, often consumed with tea, soy sauce and star anise. The "thousand-year" is an especial snack which consists on preserving the eggs for one or two months in ash and straw. Dairy products are used to limited purposes. Goat cheese is consumed mainly at Yunnan, but according to Chinese tradition, milk and yoghurt are foods for children and are not part of the national gastronomy.
Vegetables are generally used to balance tastes and textures of meat and are served with almost all Chinese meal. China has a extend variety of vegetables including water chestnuts, lettuce, radish, glass noodles (made out of pea starch) and tofu (pressed curd made from boiled soya beans).
In China, there is also a high diversity of seasonal products like mushrooms, seaweed, greens and bamboo shoots. A wide variety of regional fruit abounds in the country. They are ideal to refresh the palate or fill a space between meals.
Preparing and cooking these ingredients is more complicated than only chopping everything into small pieces and stir-frying them. A high quantity of spices is used for their health-giving properties, to cover disagreeable flavors or provide a background taste.
Marinating dissolves blood - disgusting to the Chinese - and tenderizes the flavor of meats. Chicken and fish are usually completely cooked and cut into small pieces before serving.
A wide range of cooking methods can be used in a single dish to improve textures and flavors, such as crisping by deep frying in flour or a batter; steaming , which can highlight an ingredient's subtler flavors; boiling and blanching , usually to firm meat as a precursor to other cooking methods; and slow cooking in a rich stock.